Barbara Kanninen joined the Arlington School Board in 2015 and currently serves as Vice Chair of the Board, Chair of the Audit Committee, and Liaison to the Legislative Process and Facilities Advisory Council. Barbara has previously served as Chair and Vice Chair of the Board, as well as Liaison to the Advisory Council on Instruction, Budget Advisory Committee, South Arlington Working Group, Whole Child Working Group, Arlington Partnership for Children, Youth, and Families, and Student Advisory Board.
Barbara knows that every child is more than a test score and is committed to expanding opportunities for all students to develop their critical thinking, creative, technical, and job skills. She believes teachers are the backbone of our schools and works hard to empower them, and she will continue to tackle rapid growth with constructive, positive community engagement. Barbara’s goal is to always focus on what matters most: supporting teachers and students in the classroom every day.
Barbara has been honored with a number of awards for her consistent commitment to educators and students, including the Arlington Education Association’s “Friend of Education” award and AGLA’s Equality award. In 2017, Washingtonian magazine named Barbara one of the Most Powerful Women in Washington.
Barbara also contributes toward improving education across the Commonwealth. She serves on the Governor’s Commission on K-12 STEM Education and the stakeholder work group to support transgender students in Virginia public schools. She also serves as Chair of the Northeastern Region and member of the Board of Directors of the Virginia School Boards Association.
In addition to her work on the School Board, Barbara is a Ph.D. environmental economist, children’s book author, and co-founder of the Youth Ultimate League of Arlington. She and her husband Kevin have lived in Arlington for more than 25 years and have two sons, Fred and Markus, who were both K-12 Arlington Public Schools students.
Office Phone: 703-228-6015
Term expires December 31, 2022